first look photos?

photo by A Love Supreme Photography

are you contemplating doing first look photos? you know, photos of the happy couple BEFORE the ceremony? well, here's my advice: do it! and here are my reasons for saying so:

  1. (assuming you've planned well) you'll have lots of time to get fun, creative photos taken without the stress of knowing that all your guests are waiting for you to join the party!
  2. it seems like it would be really nice to have some alone time with you and your mate before the big to-do.
  3. you'll get a chance to really see how the other one looks and appreciate all the time and energy that went into getting that look.
  4. it'll save time after the ceremony when all you'll have to do is take the family, groomsmen, and bridal party photos. 
  5. did i already say this...you won't have the pressure of needing to rush through the photos to get to your guests who are all waiting to see you and hug you and spend time with you. 

so, you might be able to tell that i didn't do first look photos and i totally wish i had. after the ceremony i was so stressed out making sure we got all the crazy combinations of family members and friends and couples photos that the candid photos of me during that time are NOT flattering. i'm grumpy and stressed and even one shot shows me yelling for someone! yikes! i would have been so much more relaxed if i had done some of those photos beforehand and maybe just had the family portraits afterwards. 

of course, this advice isn't necessary if you're not doing formal shots, but i've yet to go to one wedding where there aren't just a few formals even if they're just "for grandma." this advice may also not be necessary if you have a small family or if you're not prone to stressing out (i want to be like you!). 

so, what do you think? are you doing first look photos or only photos after the ceremony?